2020 TSEP Success Report

ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP TIFFIN-SENECA

SUCCESS REPORT 2020

LIVING OUR VALUES

Annual report on economic, community and downtown development for Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio

TSEP Success Report - 2020

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THE TSEP TEAM ON A MISSION TO IMPROVE THE COMMUNITY THROUGH DEVELOPMENT

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge negative impact on our local economy. The local small businesses that received CARES grants last year reported an average 45% decline in sales. In 2020, major employers cut their workforce by 8.4%. Unemployment grew from 4.7% in February 2020 to 21.3% in April. Yet, through it all, we held together. We saw inspiring citizen initiatives, thoughtful public policy, business grit and innovation, creative Chamber promotion, and collaborative grant programs. Now, unemployment is back to pre-pandemic levels. This March, we placed #4 nationally for economic development. Local tax revenue is stronger than it was before, and major employers have hired most of their workforce back and want to hire more. We’re amazed by this community and feel very proud to serve it.

DAVID R. ZAK PRESIDENT & CEO

Amy has led Tiffin’s down- town revitalization efforts since 2014, managing the city’s state- and nationally- accredited Main Street pro- gram and Facade Enhance- ment Grant program, which she developed. Amy is a certified Main Street Manager, has served on the Heritage Ohio Advisory Board, and has been recognized as the Main Street Manager of the Year. During her tenure, Downtown Tiffin has become one of the most decorated Main Street programs in the state. DIRECTOR OF DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION AMY REINHART

Nick joined TSEP in 2019, after a successful 9-year media career and with a strong desire to make posi- tive things happen for his community. Nick recently finished all the requirements to become the next Ohio Certified Economic Devel- oper and is one of the key reasons Tiffin-Seneca has achieved its highest national rankings for economic devel- opment in its history. Nick has also raised our market- ing and public relations to an entirely new level. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MANAGER NICK DUTRO

Audrey joined TSEP in 2019, after graduating with her Master’s in Public Adminis- tration from the Ohio State University. With a passion for public service and expe- rience working for multiple foundations, Audrey has already established strong rural relationships, is help- ing launch the first-in-Ohio CEO entrepreneurship pro- gram, and established Tif- fin’s first truly collaborative community development process we call “Dream Big, Tiffin.” DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: Community, Entrepreneurship, Rural Development AUDREY FLOOD

BUSINESS SERVICES CONSULTANT, Seneca County DJFS CAROL OWEN

Carol became an “adopted” member of the TSEP team in 2018, in a partnership with a Department of Job & Family Services seen nowhere else in the state. Carol’s drive to help companies find the tal- ent they need has resulted in hundreds of grants and services for companies, in- novative social media and video promotion, unique events like virtual job fairs, the manufacturing show- case, and the first state- sponsored apprenticeship program.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS OVERVIEW OF OUR ACTIVITIES, RESULTS, AND SUPPORTERS

MEMBERSHIP Pages 22-23

ACTIVITIES Pages 4-11

Development involves the investment of money into fixed capital assets (land, building, equipment) and/or the creation and retention of jobs. There are many different types (areas) of development we work on, includ- ing industrial, commercial, and residential; downtown, rural, and international; tech, workforce, community, infrastructure, real estate, and program; as well as site selection, incentives, em- ployee recruitment and training, and development capital. DEVELOPMENT Pages 12-21

Priority activities are areas of activity identified in our annual scope of work as the key things we want to focus on for the year. Each activity has specific strategies and metrics associated with it, and it is our primary way of focusing our work and measuring our results. Our Scope of Work for 2020 has 6 key priority areas: (1) Project Facili- tation; (2) Program Administration; (3) Organizational Development; (4) Real Estate; (5) Retention & Expan- sion; and (6) Communication & Marketing. Coronavirus Assistance became a 7th activity area.

TSEP is a 501(c)3 charitable private economic development corpora- tion that currently receives 58% of its funding from contracts with the City of Tiffin and Seneca County, and 42% of its funding from its 53 private members and 17 additional contributors. Additionally, TSEP earns fee-for-service income for administering the Sandusky- Seneca-Tiffin Port Authority, Tiffin’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and other programs. It also raises funds through down- town banner sales and events.

459

$92 M In 2020, more than $92 million in new investment was announced. Since 2014, organizations in Tiffin and rural Seneca County have announced investments totalling $422 million. INVESTED

JOBS

In 2020, companies announced projects involving the creation of 459 new jobs. Since 2014, companies in Tiffin and rural Seneca County have announced the creation of more than 2,000 new jobs.

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OUR PLANNING PROCESS

“OUR STAKEHOLDER SURVEYS, BENCHMARKING TRIPS, AND STRATEGIC RETREATS HELP US DEVELOP A THOUGHTFUL, DETAILED, AND SUCCESSFUL PLAN OF WORK EACH AND EVERY YEAR.” Dean Keller, Chair of the TSEP Board of Trustees (2020-2021)

Our annual planning process begins in the early fall with surveys to our 70 members and other stakeholders, asking for their priorities, their feedback, and their rating of our performance in key areas. Our performance ratings from October 2020 were the highest they have ever been since we started asking for them in 2014. 4 out of 5 stars is “very good,” and 5 out of 5 is “excellent.” The open feedback we received frommembers was also very positive.

4.5/5 Member rating on our overall performance

RATING 4.6/5

MEMBER SURVEY TOPIC Member rating on our downtown efforts

Member rating on our rural development efforts Stakeholder rating on our downtown efforts Member rating on our project facilitation Member rating on our communication & marketing

4.1/5 4.3/5 4.4/5 4.6/5

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WHAT WE DO

Using information gathered from the surveys and our strategic retreats, we develop a scope of work, which categorizes our work for the coming year into 6 key priority areas. These 6 priority areas describe the main activities of what we at TSEP do on a daily basis and what we focused on in 2020. Each area has 5 to 7 specific strategies (37 total) and 5 to 9 performance measures (42 total for 2021). Multi-Jurisdictional Comprehensive Plan (2020). Members annually determine the importance of each major goal of the plan. This past year, the members determined that all of the areas in which TSEP is engaging are important, with workforce and industrial development rated as very important. TSEP’s approach to economic development and planning process are rooted in a number of foundational plans approved by City and/or County government, including the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (2011), the Downtown Strategic Plan (2010), the Downtown Development Plan (2016), and most recently the

FACILITATE PROJECTS

MANAGE PROGRAMS

ASSIST IN CRISIS

ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP TIFFIN-SENECA

MARKET OUR COMMUNITY

BUILD CAPACITY

SUPPORT EXSISTING COMPANIES

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FACILITATING PROJECTS HELPING MAKE DEVELOPMENT HAPPEN

We announced the location of TH Plastics’ new 112,000 sf facility in November 2020. The origin of the project goes back to 2016, when we put together a committee to work on developing a new spec building. Those efforts eventually bore fruit with the announcement in December 2017 that a new, $2M, 50,000 sf spec building would be built in the Eagle Rock Business Park. We then continued to work with the developer and our partners to market and submit the building for site selection leads. We started working with the developer to find an appropriate location for TH Plastics in 2019. Throughout 2019 and 2020, we assisted in numer- ous ways, most extensively with state and local incentives, as well as permitting. TH Plastics: Spec Building to Project

“TSEP IS ONE OF THE BEST LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS IN THE STATE, AND WE ENJOY WORKING WITH THEM TO BUILD A PROSPEROUS NORTHWEST OHIO REGION.” Dean Monske, President & CEO, Regional Growth Partnership

TSEP provides four core services to assist businesses with their projects. (1) We provide site selection services, helping companies find suitable space, buildings, and land to operate, as well as being able to research and provide a variety of infor- mation needed in order to move forward with a project. (2) We assist companies understand, evaluate, obtain and access, use, and report on various incentive and resource programs. (3) We act as a liaison to remove obstacles and solve problems, assisting with everything from govern- ment permitting and regulation to helping them find the right service provider (e.g., banking or construction). (4) We promote the project and the businesses, increas- ing public awareness, strengthening their relationship with the community, and enhancing their ability to attract talent.

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MANAGING PROGRAMS DEVELOPING & MANAGING IMPORTANT BUSINESS RESOURCES

In 2014, Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz approached TSEP about de- veloping a downtown facade enhancement grant program to improve the appearance of buildings in downtown Tiffin. Amy Reinhart was hired that summer, and Tiffin became a Main Street affiliate. We then benchmarked other Ohio programs and devel- oped a program that would reimburse up to half of the exterior improvements of a building in the downtown historic district, up to $10,000, as long as it was approved by the Architectural Board of Review. The program launched fall of 2014 with $50,000. Through the end of 2020, the City of Tiffin has invested $597,000 into the program resulting in a total of 95 facade projects and $2.3 million of private investment - meaning for every $1 invested, $4 of private funds have been spent to preserve and improve the downtown’s appearance. In 2018, the City of Tiffin and TSEP were recognized with the Best Public/Private Partnership award from Heritage Ohio at its state conference. The award was created to recognize partnerships between organizations and government, which leverage resources to create a positive lasting impact. This award-winning program, developed and launched by TSEP in 2014 for the City of Tiffin, has been a huge success in stimulating investment downtown. TIFFIN FACADE GRANT PROGRAM

PROGRAMS TSEP ADMINISTERS INCLUDE:

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

Community Reinvestment Areas

Downtown Facade Grants

Enterprise Zone (Tiffin)

Tiffin/Seneca CARES Grant Program

Tax Increment Financing Districts

Municipal Income Tax Credit (New Jobs Program)

Sandusky- Seneca-Tiffin Port Authority

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SUPPORTING EXISTING COMPANIES REACHING OUT TO LOCAL BUSINESSES TO HELP THEM GROW

AMERICAN PLASTICS? “THE UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN TSEP AND SENECA COUNTY DJFS ALLOWS BOTH ORGANIZATIONS TO REACH MORE BUSINESSES WITH MORE RESOURCES AND MAKE A BIGGER IMPACT.” Kathy Oliver, Director, Seneca County Department of Job & Family Services

In 2020, the Greater Ohio Workforce Board awarded Seneca County Job and Family Services and TSEP $33,000 to be used for business outreach services, including funding for salesforce.com (our Customer Relationship Management or CRM), an up-to-date listing of local businesses from InfoUSA, and contract services from COACT Associates, a full-service business growth agency hired to assist us double our average outreach to companies. By the end of 2020, we had formally engaged with COACT, with Chris Farkas as our account lead, and now Brooklyn Ross, ready to begin calling companies as part of the TSEP Team in 2021. We provide the list of companies we have not yet contacted, and they reach out and determine if there is a way for us to assist and if they have interest. This complements our other strategic efforts from the Downtown Business Enhance- ment Committee, TSEP Staff, Regional Growth Partnership, the Chamber, and others. So far in 2021, thanks to these innovative partnerships, we have already collectively called on more than 450 businesses and have assisted more than 100. We expect to easily surpass our goal of 500 by this fall. Formal business outreach programs – also known as Business Retention & Expansion – have been a part of TSEP since its creation as SIEDC in 1983. The Seneca Fortune 500, our initiative for 2021 designed to reach more than 500 businesses, is our most ambitious program to date.

1,262

Since 2014, TSEP has made 1,262 outreach calls to local businesses, inventoried 175 business resources, and logged 649 projects connected to those companies - including 322 calls last year. Key questions include asking if they are considering hiring, investing, training, or modifying their space in the next 12 months.

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MARKETING OUR COMMUNITY SHARING STORIES THAT ATTRACT AND RETAIN BUSINESSES

73

224

99 K

1 M

PRESS RELEASES The number of press releases we issued in 2020. Since 2014, we’ve issued 262 re- leases and have held 4 press conferences.

PRINT & TV STORIES The number of news stories in 2020 that ap- peared in print and on- line (194), as well as TV coverage (30), as a result of our media relations.

WEBSITE VISITS More than 71,000 peo- ple visited our website last year, where we published 171 pages of content.

FACEBOOK IMPRESSIONS

Our TSEP, Downtown, and Jobs Seneca County Facebook pages garnered more than 1 million im- pressions in 2020.

TSEP’s content-based mar- keting strategy is designed to promote and strengthen the community brand as a growing, attractive place to start and grow a business. We use a mix of media relations, social media, email marketing, relationship marketing, publications, webinars, videos, events, and advertising.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience - and, ultimately, to drive economic development. We have been successfully pursuing this strategy relentlessly since 2014, and the results are significant. Since 2014, we have published more than 790 stories through our press releases and on our website, with more than half a million website engagements and 7.5 million Facebook impressions. The number of TV stories almost doubled in 2020 from the previous year, rising to 30 from 17. In 2020, we put some of our events strategy on hold and tripled the number of videos produced (38 from 13) and published on YouTube. We started 3 new email newsletters (Development Digest, Workforce Digest, and Rural Digest) and published 33 total newslet- ters. For the first time, we also hosted 12 webinars on business resources.

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BUILDING CAPACITY DEVELOPING THE TEAM, STRATEGY AND RESOURCES NEEDED TO WIN

140

15

VOLUNTEERS

COMMITTEES

Since 2014, TSEP has increased the number of active committee volunteers from 40 to 140, not including the many additional downtown volunteers and those involved in ad hoc committees.

Since 2014, TSEP has increased the number of active Committees and boards it leads and/or supports from 5 to 15, including: • Board of Trustees; Executive, Finance, Membership & Events Committees • 5 Downtown committees (Board, Marketing, Retailers, Design, Business Enhancement) • Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurship Committee • Tiffin Community Development Committee • Economic Development Committee • Ohio Partnership for Water, Industrial & Cyber Security • Northwest Career Ready (Comm & Engagement) • Seneca CEO Board of Trustees

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PLANS & STUDIES

Since 2014, TSEP has led or helped lead 8 strategic planning efforts and studies, 5 additional property studies, with 2 currently underway (Northwest Career Ready, and Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurship Strategic Plan).

In June 2020, the new Multi-Jurisdictional Comprehensive Plan was com- pleted after three years of hard work, and TSEP played a very significant role. The first new community development plan for Tiffin since 1994 is being integrated into the “Dream Big, Tiffin” community development project identification and prioritization process. Financially, TSEP weathered the storm of 2020 well. A 25% cut in funding by the City and County was offset by a Paycheck Protection Program loan and conservative fiscal management. Unbudgeted administra- tive fees for the CARES grant program and the retention of our exist- ing members also made the difference. In 2020, the Board of Trustees also approved the sale of the 19 W. Market St. property, as well as the acquisition of the historic 96 S. Washington St. Property in the heart of downtown for TSEP’s new location. In December 2020, the Board approved the hiring of a new operations manager, to add capacity and ensure sustainability of TSEP’s current and planned activities. Recruitment was launched at the end of April, and the plan is to bring this person on board in July. TSEP works diligently to lead development planning and strategy, recruit and retain its talented team, and ensure it has sufficient financial resources are core to mission. It is noteworthy that TSEP is one of the leanest organizations in Ohio in terms of budget relative to staffing (5) and the number of development activities it leads and supports.

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ASSISTING IN A CRISIS SUPPORTING OUR BUSINESSES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

“I AM GLAD WE WERE ABLE TO USE FEDERAL CARES FUNDS TO PROVIDE GRANTS TO HELP OUR LOCAL SMALL BUSINESSES DURING A VERY DIFFICULT TIME.” Aaron Montz, Tiffin Mayor

On September 3, 2020, Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz approached TSEP about developing a small business relief grant program for businesses using newly available CARES Act funding.

When the COVID-19 pandemic closed businesses down in March, TSEP took immediate decisive action to help: • On March 30, TSEP launched a website dedicated to corona- virus resources. • A free text alert system was developed for businesses to notify them of any resources or changes. • Direct assistance was provided to businesses to access SBA loans and grants (PPP, EIDL, etc.). • Webinars on resources and various other topics were held with experts to assist businesses with various issues. • TSEP hosted weekly and monthly online business forums. • TSEP helped distribute PPE from JobsOhio and other sources. • Special assistance was provided to businesses related to unemployment benefits, layoffs, and hiring.

Three weeks later, TSEP launched the Tiffin CARES Small Business Relief grant program. This was followed with the Seneca CARES program, which involved Seneca County, the City of Tiffin, Bettsville, Green Springs, and Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell, and Pleasant Townships. It was one of the most collaborative efforts of its type in the state of Ohio. There is no question that the coronavirus pandemic had a large negative impact on the economy. Through our re- search, we know major employers reduced employment by 8.4%, and unemployment rose to 21.3% in April. Many small business saw their sales cut by an average of 45%, and some closed forever. The results of the CARES grant program (be- low), however, made a real difference to those businesses.

186

$1.2M

was distributed through the Tiffin

BUSINESSES

were helped through the Tiffin and Seneca CARES pro- grams, employing more than 700 people. No grantee had more than 30 employees or $2 million in annual revenue.

and Seneca CARES programs. Tiffin provided $574,000; Seneca County $390,000; and $205,000 came from participating townships and villages.

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TYPES OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT In economic development, one size does not fit all. It is an umbrella term that encompasses encouraging and promoting many types of development activity, each with its own needs, challenges, and opportunities. 8

TSEP has been engaged in industrial development since its creation in 1983, and starting in 1990, it eventually added commu- nity, international, real estate, and infrastructure development as well. In 2014, downtown development was added as a core activity, with the integration of Tiffin Tomorrow, the hiring of Amy Reinhart, and then Main Street certification in 2015. In 2016, workforce development was added with the creation of the first strategic plan. In 2017, technology-based development was added with the initial work on the Ohio Partnership for Water, Industrial, and Cyber Security (OPWICS). Entrepreneurship and rural development became core activities in 2019, with the creation of a Development Manager focusing on those areas and the hiring of Audrey Flood.

INDUSTRIAL

COMMERCIAL DOWNTOWN WORKFORCE

Industrial development is where economic develop- ment started as a profession, with a focus on attracting manufacturing, logistics, wholesale, and other indus- trial companies and helping them grow. They tend to be larger employers and make larger investments, generat- ing significant income and property tax revenue.

Also known as entrepre- neurship, small business development focuses on creating an ecosystem that promotes more start-up and small business activity and growth in a commu- nity. It includes counseling, assistance in obtaining capital, the development and promotion of small business programs, and other various resources. Commercial development is important to quality of life, and includes retail, restau- rants, office, healthcare, and other service businesses. Commercial development is the primary generator of sales tax in Seneca County and is also critical in creat- ing a community where people want to live. SMALL BUSINESS

Downtown revitalization is a larger term that includes downtown development – both economic and com- munity – as well as activities designed to draw people downtown (marketing and events), strengthen existing businesses, and make it visu- ally more attractive.

Workforce development en- compasses project-oriented employee recruitment and training assistance, helping them attract, develop, and retain the necessary talent. It also includes long-term efforts to build a pipeline of available talent to en- able business growth and expansion.

COMMUNITY

RURAL

OTHER

Rural development is the intentional focus on assist- ing villages and townships identify their assets, advan- tages, and priorities, and developing and implement- ing customized approaches to facilitating and promot- ing desired development within that context. It also involves assisting rural businesses and helping re- vitalize village downtowns.

There are a number of other types of economic development with which TSEP is involved. These include the development of industrial parks and buildings, infrastructure, programs, policies, tech- nology, international busi- ness, as well as managing the organization.

Community development focuses on public-use pro- jects like parks and recrea- tion, education and schools, housing, the environment, transportation and infra- structure, healthcare and safety services, and other as- sets, resources, and facilities that generate no positive, net tax revenue but are criti- cal for quality of life.

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INDUSTRIAL & COMMERCIAL

OUR RANKINGS ARE NO ACCIDENT: $600 million in new investment & 2,000 new jobs over the last 8 years.

YEAR 2021

RANKING #4

2018 2017 2015 2016 2020 2019

#6

# 10 #10 #42 #39 #14

GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES IN NORTHWEST OHIO

When Tiffin-Seneca placed fourth in the na- tion for economic development, we partnered with RGP Northwest Ohio to place a full-age ad similar to what you see on this page in Site

Selection magazine, marketing to 42,000 qualified subscribers engaged in site selec- tion globally. We touted our education, our available industrial space, our workforce, our aggressive incentives, and low cost of living and doing business. At the same time, we are actively working to facilitate the construction of a new spec building and ex- pansion of industrial park land in 2021. We understand one in four workers in Seneca County is employed in manufacturing, and industrial companies have been one of the backbones of our economy since the second half of the 19th century.

Ranking by Site Selection Magazine for large, private economic development projects out of 531 micropolitans in the US for Seneca County, Ohio

The amount of new industrial investment announced in 2020, from 69 projects in the manufacturing, wholesale and logistics sectors. The amount of new commercial investment announced in 2020, from 56 projects in the retail, finance and insurance, services, arts and entertainment, and hospitality and food sectors. $57 million $13 million

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INDUSTRIAL & COMMERCIAL

The expansion of existing industrial businesses dominated the community’s investment and job creation numbers. Church & Dwight’s $38.3 million expansion was one of the largest in recent memory, while companies like American Plastics, Ameriwood/Dorel, Webster Industries, TPC Food Service, Taiho, Arnold Machine, and others made substantial investments. Commercial expansions were also numerous, including Circle K’s new facility, with other businesses like Walmart, UIS Insurance, Tiffin Aire, Tiffin Drive-In Theater, Clinton Heights Golf Course, and Bodyworks also making investments and expanding. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, industrial attraction was also a key 2020 theme, as a number of businesses selected Seneca County for their new facility. In February, Findlay- based MBDS located a new operation in the former Tiffin Insulators building at the Eagle Rock Business Park, with plans to hire 29 workers. In November, Michigan-headquartered TH Plastics purchased the Tiffin Spec Building for $1.9 million, is expanding it, and is planning to add millions in equipment. And in January 2021, Centricity Automation announced it was going to move its operations to the Northstar Industrial Park.

DID YOU KNOW? Tiffin and Seneca County is an average micropolitan area in terms of population and economic strength and smaller in land area than most, yet we con- sistently rank near the top nationally for eco- nomic development.

TYPE

INVESTMENT

INDUSTRY

TOP INVESTORS, COMPANY Church & Dwight

NEW JOBS

$38,300,000 $10,500,000 $7,000,000 $4,100,000 $3,270,000 $3,200,000 $3,000,000 $2,000,000 $1,900,000 $1,900,000 $1,600,000

60

Expansion

Manufacturing

Residential Residential

N/A N/A N/A

New

Zeis Development American Plastics

Relocation Expansion Expansion Expansion Expansion Expansion Expansion

Circle K

Retail

87

Manufacturing

Ameriwood

Webster Industries Walmart Supercenter

N/A N/A N/A N/A

Retail

Manufacturing Rental & Leasing

Tiffin Aire

Bascom Communications

Information

10

New

TH Plastics (Building Purchase Only)

Manufacturing Manufacturing

5

Expansion

TPC Food Service

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TSEP assists entrepreneurs and businesses looking to start or locate in downtown Tiffin. New business- es locating here in 2020 include: DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION

• Ace Serenity Farm & Massage • Healing Vines • JAM’s Monthly Markets • Kesler & Co • Motto Mortgage • Renaissance Pink Lady/Party Bus • Saull Law & Title • The House of Beauty on Washington • Tiffin Wireless Works

“WE CONTINUE TO MAKE GREAT STRIDES DOWNTOWN THANKS TO OUR BUSINESSES, VOLUNTEERS, INVESTORS, AND MAIN STREET APPROACH.” Nevin Martin, Chair, Downtown Development Board

MAIN STREET APPROACH Tiffin is a state (since 2015) and nationally accredited (since 2017) Main Street community using the 4-point approach:

1. DESIGN

2. ECONOMIC VITALITY

3. PROMOTION Market district’s defining assets; communicate unique features through storytelling; support buy- local experience. Create an inviting, inclusive atmosphere; celebrate historic character; foster accessible, people-centered public spaces.

Build a diverse economic base; catalyze smart new investment; cultivate a strong entrepreneurship ecosystem.

4.ORGANIZATION Build leadership and strong organizational capacity; ensure broad community engagement; form partnerships across sectors.

$3,982,627 Total amount of public ($1.4 million) and private ($2.5 million) investments made in downtown Tiffin in 2020.

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DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION

There were a number of strong marketing and business enhancement efforts underway in 2020. We reached out to every single downtown business during the coronavirus pandemic. We held the Auction of Firsts, which raised funds for downtown businesses. We facilitat- ed the creation of a mini-guide for downtown retailers. The Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) was estab- lished. We assisted many downtown businesses get access to Tiffin and Seneca CARES Small Business Relief Grants. We held events like the Tiffin Tales, Bunny Hop, Christmas Walk, the month-long Downtown Summit and Celebration, and the Summit Stroll, with QR codes linking to videos for several downtown establishments and projects.

A number of improvements to the overall appearance were made to the downtown in 2020. There were 7 facade projects supported by the Facade En- hancement Grant program, and 3 additional facade projects supported by a $20,000 Heritage Ohio grant we were awarded. The Jefferson Street Streetscape project was completed, in- cluding new curb and sidewalks, decorative stamped concrete and crosswalks, decorative light poles, signage, and trees. 10 new picnic tables for outdoor seating, 10 new bike racks, and 7 cigarette containers were purchased and installed. In addition, TSEP developed a formal Request For Proposal (RFP) process the City/County could use for any downtown public property it wishes to develop.

+9 +10 +32

First Floor Commercial Occupancy Rate in 2020. (Report to Heritage Ohio) 91 %

Number of net, new jobs created in downtown Tiffin in 2020. (Report to Heritage Ohio)

Number of new business- es to open or locate in downtown Tiffin in 2020. (Report to Heritage Ohio)

Number of facade projects that were approved for grant funding in 2020.

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WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Started in Seneca and Sandusky Counties in 2019, this regional initiative has grown to more than 80 volunteers, en- compassing 5 counties and 15 school districts. Now each dis- trict’s Business Advisory Council has merged to become the Northwest Career Ready (NCR) regional council. NCR seeks to help every high school student prepare for a career through work-based learning and industry credentials. Pictured above are students in the Building Readiness After Gradua- tion (BRAG) program, which started at Tiffin City Schools and is being rolled out to the region. High school seniors can get real experience at local companies and then work there after graduation. This is only one of the programs in development. The Northwest Career Ready initiative began to hit its stride in 2020, as Business Advisory Councils merged.

Seneca County became the first county in Ohio to implement a state-certified apprenticeship program, and now Grammer, Morgan and Mennel Milling all have such programs. Last year, companies also put in 163 requests for recruitment assistance, or “job orders,” with 12 companies using the service provided by Ohio Means Jobs and Seneca County Job and Family Ser- vices for the first time. In 2020, the Incumbent Worker Training grant program reimbursed more than $47,000 to employers and set aside another $25,000. Companies were also reim- bursed almost $50,000 in wages, and an additional $25,000 was obligated. The Youth Work Experience program also paid $10,000 for 5 youth to work at area companies. In 2020, demand for services increased, and Seneca became the first county with a state-certified apprenticeship.

The 4CG (Four County Group - Seneca, Sandusky, Ot- tawa, Huron) finished its state-funded workforce devel- opment strategy in 2020. The Northwest Career Ready (NCR) initiative finished its Asset Mapping Report in 2019 and worked on developing its strategic plan in 2020. 4CG focuses on adult workforce development, while NCR focuses on middle and high school students. Workforce Development strategic planning continues to be a focus point for stakeholders.

The project was launched in March of 2019, and since has gained more than 2,000 followers, posted 3,000 job notifications, and gained more than 820,000 im- pressions. In addition, 6 employer videos focusing on the employee experience and culture have been devel- oped, used on the site, and distributed to schools. In 2020, videos for AFS and Roppe were completed. The Jobs Seneca County Facebook page, promot- ing career opportunities, saw strong growth.

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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

In 2020, there were 3 major accomplishments in the realm of community development for TSEP: 1. The grant application for $150,000 in Nature Trails Park improvements was approved by the State of Ohio. Also, the paperwork and reporting related to the last grant (Riverside Park) was completed. 2. The Multi-Jurisdictional Comprehensive Plan (including Tiffin’s plan) was finalized and approved by Tiffin City Council and Seneca County Commissioners. The 23-member Tiffin Community Development Committee, relaunched in 2019, is the group overseeing its implementation. 3. A completely new process for prioritizing and identifying community development projects was developed, approved, and implemented. It was open to the public, and we received 10 full project proposals and 55 idea submissions. 2 panels (Quality of Life and Health & Human Services) evaluated each proposal and rated them “Priority,” “Recommended,” or “Reviewed” based on impact, readiness to move forward, sustainability, financial support, and other factors. In 2020, Community Development took a big step forward with the implementation of Dream Big, Tiffin.

“WITH THE NEW ‘DREAM BIG, TIFFIN’ PROCESS OUR GOALS ARE TO INCREASE COLLABORATION, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, FUNDING, AND ULTIMATELY THE NUMBER OF PROJECTS WE COMPLETE IN TIFFIN.” Jodie Reinbolt, Chair, Tiffin Community Development Committee

The Tiffin Community Development Committee rated the following projects as Priority for 2021: • Tiffin Community Kitchen • Court Street Alley Improvement • South River Road Trail Improvements • Seneca County Cares for Families • Bunky Bike Tree It rated the following projects as Recommended for 2021: • South Washington Streetscape Extension • Transformation Life Center • City of Tiffin Trail Connection • Salvation Army Parking Lot Repair ($26K) Additionally, there were 28 unique ideas for potential future projects submitted.

TSEP Success Report - 2020

20

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

STRATEGIC PLAN

SENECA CEO

In late 2019, TSEP formed the first Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurship Committee (TCDC), and Tiffin and the surrounding area became a part of the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) entrepreneurship program led by the Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP). In 2020, TSEP solicited proposals from 3 consultants to create an entrepreneurship strategic plan, and GLCAP was selected, with funding for the plan coming through the RCDI grant. A plan for the strategic planning process was approved by the TCDC, and GLCAP began facilitating the 18-month initiative. The initial accomplishments in the latter part of 2020 included a detailed assessment of the current entrepreneurial ecosystem, a stakeholder survey, and an in-depth Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats (SWOT) analysis. Next steps are focus groups and community engagement. The plan is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

In late 2019, TSEP was approached by North Central Electric about working with them to bring the Illinois-based Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship’s CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program - a successful, national model for rural high school entrepreneurship - to Seneca County. The program meets weekly at local businesses, and the students form a class and then and individual business. The program transforms the lives of the students and creates real-world businesses, many of which survive as a side business and some which evolve to become bricks and mortar companies. A Steering Committee was assembled and met in January, a new legal non- profit was formed in May, and a board of trustees soon thereafter. In September, the Seneca CEO program was announced as the 58th program nationally and first in Ohio. 37 investors signed-on to support the hiring of a part-time facilitator for the next 3 years. With that in place and the recent agreement with Terra State Community College to serve as the administrative agent, the first class of students will begin this fall.

In 2020, North Central Electric partnered with TSEP to bring the CEO high school entrepreneurship program to Ohio, creating a new non-profit and securing funding from almost 40 investors. The first group of students will start the program in Fall 2021.

TSEP Success Report - 2020

21

RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Rural Development activity was active in 2020, as we worked with a number of businesses to sustain, open and expand. We connected with almost 50 rural Seneca County businesses through our business outreach program (INSIGHT). We worked with the Seneca County Commissioners, the villages of Bettsville and Green Springs, as well as Bloom, Clinton, Eden, Hopewell, and Pleasant Townships to de- velop and administer a Seneca CARES programmodeled after the Tiffin CARES small business relief program. Seneca County contributed $390,000, while the villages and townships provided $205,000 in funding. 105 grants were awarded to rural Seneca County businesses. The Seneca County Common Ground organization was created in 2020 and took over the Farmers’ Market, hiring the first Market Manager and putting on 10 successful events in spite of the challenges due to the coronavirus.

2.

3.

1.

5.

6.

4.

1. CLINTON HEIGHTS

2. TIFFIN DRIVE- IN THEATER

SEPTEMBER 2020 3. F&F SHEET METAL & FAB

JUNE 2020

AUGUST 2020

This Clinton Township business purchased 22 additional acres in 2019 and expanded with a new driving range and practice facility in 2020. It added 2 new employees to its 20 people.

This Pleasant Township business was purchased in August of 2020 and an- nounced they would invest $200,000 for 2 brand-new screens. They have 20 seasonal employees.

This Hopewell Township business purchased the former Industrial Machine Repair space in the Airport Industrial Park with an in- vestment of $750,000. They specialize in ventilation.

4. HOFFBAUER DISPOSAL

5. LANE OF DREAMS FARM

6. HANDSHOE CAKES & COOKIES

SEPTEMBER 2020

OCTOBER 2020

NOVEMBER 2020

This new Seneca Town- ship business based in McCutchenville expanded and added dumpster rental to their services as a fully insured demolition contractor.

This Eden Township busi- ness reinvented them- selves after their major client left due to coro- navirus. They now board, offer arenas, and provide lessons in a variety of formats.

This Scipio Township company invested $25,000, added 2 employees, and opened the doors of their new and improved store- front location in Republic. The business has been in operation since 1999.

TSEP Success Report - 2020

22

MEMBERSHIP

Gold CHAMPION

Silver ADVOCATE

Bronze PROMOTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

$5,000 per year and above

$3,000 per year and above

$1,500 per year and above

Gold members are champions for economic growth and quality of life and help set the strategic direction of the organization. This is the highest level of membership in TSEP. Gold members are entitled to the following: • All Silver & Bronze-level benefits • Voting Seat on Board of Trustees • Board of Trustees Meetings (5/year) • Board of Trustees Networking • Board of Trustees Company Updates • Board Strategic Retreat & Input • Board Approval of Budget & Scope

Silver members have decided to contribute and support economic de- velopment and TSEP at a higher level with a stronger commitment. Silver members are entitled to the following new benefits: • All Bronze-Level Benefits • Individualized Briefings • Detailed Online Member Profile • Content Contribution

This is the entry level for full mem- bership in TSEP and is designed for organizations wanting to promote economic development. Bronze mem- bers are entitled to the following: • Announcement Text Alerts • Weekly Activity Reports • Monthly Resource Highlights • Quarterly Reports • Semi-Annual Member Briefings • Committee Participation • Online Recognition • Project Referrals BRONZE-LEVEL MEMBERS • AEP Ohio • Agrati • Beerco • CentraComm • Coppus Motors • Encompass Engineers & Architects • Financial Design of Ohio • Hylant • Innovative Controls Corporation • Irving Equipment • Lange, Gordon, Rannigan & Claus • Mosser Construction • North Central Electric Co-Op • R Investments • RMF Nooter • Rudolph Libbe • Seneca County Home Builders Association • Tiffin Aire • Tiffin Metal Products • UIS Insurance & Investments • Whitta Construction

GOLD-LEVEL MEMBERS • Advertiser-Tribune • Arnold Machine • Arnold Vending • Clouse Construction • Croghan Colonial Bank • Fifth Third Bank • First Insurance Group • First National Bank of Sycamore • Grammer • Heidelberg University • Janotta & Herner • Laminate Technologies • Mercy Health - Tiffin Hospital • National Machinery • Old Fort Banking Co. • Reineke Family Dealerships • Sunny Farms Landfill • Sutton Bank • Taiho Corp. of America • Tiffin University • US Bank • Vanguard-Sentinel Career & Technology Centers • Webster Industries

SILVER-LEVEL MEMBERS • Apex Clean Energy • Charles Construction • Church & Dwight • Clouse Electric • Concordance Healthcare Solutions • Huntington National Bank • PNC Bank • QT2 • Superior Credit Union

TSEP Success Report - 2020

23

MEMBERSHIP

“BECAUSE OF THE STEADFAST AND GROWING SUPPORT OF OUR MEMBERS OVER THE YEARS, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO IMPACT THOUSANDS OF LIVES IN TIFFIN AND RURAL SENECA COUNTY. WE CAN’T THANK THEM ENOUGH.” David Zak, TSEP President & CEO

We cannot thank our members enough and are proud of their support. Our members are an elite group of the most important and successful companies in Tiffin, rural Seneca County, and northwest Ohio. They are leaders in their industries. They understand that the best way to guarantee their long-term business success is to support the organization that has proven to grow and improve the economy, the downtown, the city and county, and the workforce. They appreciate an organization that is a state and national leader, with the passion, drive, talent, skill, and commitment to move Tiffin and rural Seneca County forward into a brighter and more prosperous future. We want our members and public partners to know that we, as a public-private partnership, are as committed to fiscal responsibility as we are to results. We want them to know the following about the financial side of our operation: • We have a $409,000 operational budget, of which $379,000 is raised and $30,000 is earned through fees and fundraisers. Every year we approve a balanced budget. • We have a team of 5 full-time professionals, an intern, and we will be hiring an Operations Manager in 2021 to allow us to continue to sustain our level of activity and our excellence, collaboration, innovation, and results. • We benchmarked 10 other similar economic development (ED) organizations, and we have the widest scope of activities. We are the only one to run a downtown organization, the only one to also focus on community development, and the only one with such a strong partnership with DJFS. We are also only 1 of 2 with staff dedicated to entrepreneurship. • Our budget is the lowest per team member. Overall, our operational budget ranks ties for fourth out of the ten organizations we surveyed. • Of the 10 surveyed, 8 did private fundraising. Of those 8, TSEP ranked second lowest for percentage of private fundraising (42%). • Of those organizations raising private funds, our campaigns are the least frequent (last one in 2014). Most organizations conduct campaigns every 3 to 5 years, and often they em- ploy professional fundraisers, who take a significant percentage of the funds raised.

58 %

of our operational funding comes from our public partners – the city of Tiffin and Seneca County.

42 %

The remaining 42% of op- erational funding comes from our members.

ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP TIFFIN-SENECA

96 S. Washington St. | Tiffin, OH 44883 419.447.3831 | www TiffinSeneca.org

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